I have always had a cinematic dreamlife. It is simultaneously one of my most and least favorite things about being me. Flying, interplanetary travel, meeting a friendly, dreadlocked Jesus that was rockin' out to "Rock 'n' Roll Hochie Coo" ----some of my favorites. I also dream about tornadoes, intruders, and bad, bad things happening to my children. My dreams have changed since I've become a mother. They've become, well...domestic. When my children were infants, and I a sleep deprived wreck, I would fall into bed to escape the mountains of laundry, the endless diapers, and crying, only to dream about folding laundry or trying to calm a colicky baby.
My dreams of Erik go something like this----he holds my face, kisses me, a candle flickers somewhere, then a child enters asking for juice. Or we laugh, embrace, kiss, then a child calls loudly needing her butt wiped.
But last night, I reached a new low. Last night, I dreamt of scrubing toilets. Filthy, stinking toilets. And not just one short little dream either. I think I cleaned toilets for hours. It may stem from the fact that the girls' bathroom might as well be a truck stop bathroom somewhere just outside of Texarkana even though I clean it EVERY DAY. I'm considering installing a toilet seat cover dispenser and one of those automatic air freshners that delivers a cloying strawberry scent every 15 minutes. Remember back in the day when you had to deposit money on the door of some public bathrooms to get it to open? Maybe I should look into that....My fear is that this dumbing-down of my dreamlife is indicative of something much deeper, more important. That my brain is shrinking, that motherhood is sucking the creativity, the desire for growth, right out of me.
The flipside of toilet dreaming is this: On Saturday night I dreamt that my mom I and were sitting backwards in a shopping cart with our legs hanging over the backend in some public, mall-like place, and I suddenly thought of the Dalai Lama and a moment later he began walking toward us. He put his hands on the tops of my mom's bare feet for a moment, then walked over to me, with his supremely kind face and goofy, lady glasses, and rested his big hand on the top of my head. He smiled, looked deeply into my eyes for awhile, then walked on.
Dreams like this give me hope that my brain isn't just turning in on itself, doomed to forever dream of wiping butts and cleaning toilets. That someday I will stop accidentally telling Erik I'm going potty and I'll be right back. That maybe someday I will finish a crossword puzzle. Or want to. Maybe tonight I will dream of traveling in India, or I will become a bee. Maybe I'll even finish that kiss with Erik. I just hope the Dalai Lama doesn't walk in with my children and they all need their butts wiped.